Innovation has been a driving force in the auto industry more than a century. While various technologies have made vehicles safer and easier to drive, the emergence of the self-driving vehicle is, perhaps, the single most major innovation to take hold of the auto industry since its inception.
Currently, various automakers and other major companies (like Google) are developing and testing autonomous vehicles. While industry experts expect about 10 million self-driving vehicles to be on U.S. roadways by 2020, they have also predicted that, by 2030, about 1 in every 4 cars on the road will be an autonomous vehicle.
It remains to be seen how the advent of autonomous vehicles will impact roadway travel and safety. Regardless, the lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm want you to know that we are here for you, ready to advocate your rights to recovery and justice, if you are harmed by a self-driving car (or any motor vehicle).
Driverless vehicles crash when other motorists are negligence or vehicle equipment fails. After a driverless vehicle wreck, the Amaro Law Firm can help victims get on the road to recovery.
A Closer Look at Autonomous & Driverless Cars: How Do They Work?
Autonomous cars are passenger vehicles equipped with various sensors and technologies that allow them to detect, navigate and respond to a driving environment without constant human input. Also referred to as driverless, self-driving or robotic cars, autonomous cars DO require a human to be in the driver’s seat and take control of the vehicle when certain conditions arise (like any conditions that the vehicle cannot interpret).
Given that about 94 percent of traffic crashes are caused by some form of human error,1 many are hopeful that the dawn of the driverless car will prevent car accidents, reduce injuries and save lives.
Potential Problems with Driverless Cars
The impacts that autonomous vehicles will have on roadway safety have yet to be seen. Some companies that are developing and testing driverless cars are regularly reporting on the adverse incidents involving these vehicles (like Google’s Waymo2).
These and other reports are yielding some important information regarding the potential problems and issues with driverless vehicles, such as (but not at all limited to):
Other motorists – While autonomous cars are programmed to respond to a variety of circumstances, the proper response from these vehicles does not necessarily elicit the proper response from surrounding motorists.A notable example arose during a 2009 Waymo driving test when a driverless car that had stopped for a passing pedestrian was rear-ended by a motorist following it. This has led to some concern that blending autonomous vehicles into a world of unpredictable drivers may present a major challenge.
The potential for technological defects or malfunctions – The sensors, radar systems and other technology in self-driving cars can be very effective at detecting the conditions surrounding a vehicle – as long as the conditions are ideal.When, however, weather conditions like rain, snow or sleet arise, the technology can be far less effective at properly discerning (and responding to) the driving environment. Similarly, poor road conditions (like faded paint dividing lanes of traffic) can trip up the technology in autonomous vehicles, potentially leading to miscalculations, errors and possibly even accidents.
The lack of regulations – At this time, there are very few regulations regarding the technology, safety testing and implementation of self-driving cars. There is also little to no legal framework regarding liability for accidents caused by (or invovlving) autonomous vehicles.While federal and state officials scramble to get regulations in place, this vacuum could present significant issues and challenges as autonomous vehicles become accessible to – and begin to share the roads with – the driving public.
As more driverless vehicles are tested and share the roads with motorists, additional issues with these vehicles may come to light.
Find Out More about Your Potential Claim: Contact a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
Dedicated to providing our clients with exceptional advocacy and personal service, our experienced attorneys have the skills, insight and resources necessary to:
Effectively protect your rights and advance your interests
Build you the strongest possible claim
Bring your claim to the best possible resolution.
The Amaro Law Firm’s record of extraordinary representation and success in auto defect (and other personal injury) claims has earned us glowing testimonials from former clients, as well as 5-star ratings on Google and Facebook.